In the NBA bookmakers will set a point spread or handicap to make the game as close to even as possible. Bookmakers will set a handicap and punters have to determine whether or not the favourite will cover the spread. I’ve posted an example below.
NBA Point Spread Example: Miami Heat -9.5 $1.91 vs. Los Angeles Lakers +9.5 $1.91
The team with the negative handicap (-) is the favourite and has to cover the spread, which in this case is -9.5 points. The Lakers at +9.5 pts will cash if the Lakers don’t lose by more than 9 points. Miami has to win by 10 or more points to cover the handicap.
The money line takes away the handicap and the punter is left with simply picking the winner of the basketball game. As long as your team wins the game (OT Included) then your bet will cash. If the other team wins the game then the bet will lose.
NBA Money Line Example: Miami Heat $1.39 vs. Los Angeles Lakers $3.20
Unless a game is deemed to be a toss-up (50/50) you won’t be able to win close to even money on favourites. A $100 bet on the Heat would only yield a profit of $38. The ML in the NBA is best to bet on when you like an underdog to win or in an even game.
Handicapping point spreads in the NBA is difficult because the bookies set sharp lines that are generally tough to beat. The total market also has tough lines, but it’s easier to handicap because the punter only has to decide on how many points will be scored.
NBA Game Total Example: Heat vs. Lakers – Over 188.5 Points $1.91 vs. Under 188.5 Points $1.91
In the example you can bet on whether the Heat and Lakers will score over or under 188.5 points in the game (OT Included). This market is popular in the NBA because it’s easier to handicap. Betting limits are lower on this market, but will suffice for most.
Another type of over/under wager in basketball is known as a “team total” bet. The bet is the same as the game total explained above except you’re betting on the over/under on one team only (Ex: Heat Over 99.5 Points $1.91 vs. Under 99.5 Points $1.91).
An NBA game has four 12 minute quarters and punters can wager on each individual quarter before the game starts. Bookies will post odds on the ML, O/U and handicap for each quarter. Betting on a single quarter has become popular in the NBA.
The reason this market is popular is because NBA statistics are broken down by quarter and available online. With time spent on research it’s easy to identify trends that most punters overlook (Ex – Raptors are 12-3 in the 1st quarter).
Punters can also bet on the 1st half of a basketball game rather than a single quarter. Again, you can identify trends in the 1H that the betting public doesn’t notice. For instance, the Timberwolves who were 31-51 last year were 49-32-1 ATS in the 1st half.
Basketball punters sign-in to their bookmaker at halftime rather than take a break. Bookies release 2nd half odds during halftime (ML, O/U, Team Total & Spread) and some will release odds on 3rd quarter and 4th quarter betting markets as well.
Some punters bet the 2nd half exclusively because they can watch the 1st half and make a decision based on what they see. There are also situations where punters will be able to try and hit a big “middle” or hedge an open bet to guarantee a profit.
A parlay has 2 or more picks and each selection on the wager has to win for the bet to cash. When you parlay point spreads or O/U selections the payout is fixed based on the number of games. The bookmaker’s edge also increases when adding games.
Money line parlays don’t have fixed odds and the payout is based on the odds of your selections. You’re allowed to parlay most bets together as long as they’re not correlated (Ex – You can’t bet on the Heat Spread & the O/U in the same game).
A similar bet to the parlay is a “double result”, which is one way to bet on a correlated parlay. In the NBA punters can bet on the team they think will win the 1st half and the game (Ex – Heat HT / Heat FT) or on the team they think will win and the over/under.
Teasers are bets with 2+ picks that are on the spread or game total, but points come off of the spread/total. The most common NBA teaser is 5.5 pts, but bookmakers offer 4 pt – 16 pt teasers. A traditional 3-team 5.5 pt NBA teaser pays $2.50 odds.
NBA Teaser Example: Lakers -7 (-1.5) + Raptors +4 (+9.5) + Pacers -6 (-0.5)
If the Lakers are a -7 pt favourite and you bet them on a 5.5 pt teaser the adjusted spread would become -1.5 pts only. I don’t bet on teasers in the NBA because points in basketball aren’t nearly as valuable as they are in other sports like football.
NBA Please Example: Lakers -7 (-13) + Raptors +4 (-2)
Pleasers don’t get much attention, but there are times when it can be worth looking at this market. A 6pt NBA pleaser with two teams pays $7.00 odds. If you like two small underdogs to win in the NBA a pleaser can offer enticing payouts instead of the ML.
NBA futures bets are wagers that can be bet on before/during the season and aren’t graded until the end of the season. You’re betting on the success/failure of a team/player during the NBA season and in most cases the payouts are reasonably high.
NBA Futures Examples:
-What Team Will Win the NBA Championship?
-What Team Will Win the Eastern or Western Conference?
-What Team Will Win the Division? (Atlantic, Central, Southeast, Northwest, Pacific or Southwest)
-How Many Regular Season Wins Will a Team Have? (Over/Under)
-What Two Teams Will Play in the NBA Finals?
-Who Will Win the NBA MVP Award?
-What Player Will Average the Most Points/Rebounds/Assists During the Regular Season?
-Over/Under on How Many Points/Rebounds/Assists a Player Will Average
You have most likely seen NBA prop bets at your bookmaker without even noticing. Every game bookies post odds on various markets that allow fans and casual punters to wager on a game without betting on the handicap, money line or over/under.
NBA Props Examples:
-What Team Will Win the Opening Tip-Off?
-What Team Will Score the 1st Basket, 5 points or 10 points?
-Over/Under on the Number of Rebounds in a Game
-Over/Under on How Many Points/Rebounds/Assists a Player Will Have in a Game
-Kobe Bryant -7.5 Points vs. Jeremy Lin +7.5 Points
-Dwight Howard -3.5 Rebounds vs. Zach Randolph +3.5 Rebounds
-Kevin Durant Over 25.5 Points vs. Kevin Durant Under 25.5 Points
NBA prop bets allow punters to wager on a single player match-up in a basketball game. Are you a statistical nut? Prop bets are great for fans that understand stats and match-ups. Betting limits are often $100-$500 at most major bookies.
At the end of the regular season 8 out of the 15 teams in each conference earn a spot in the NBA playoffs. The teams are seeded #1 – #8 (#1 Plays #8, #2 Plays #7, #3 Plays #6 & #4 Plays #5) and each series in the playoffs is a best-of-7 right through to the finals.
The competition is intensified during the NBA playoffs and this is definitely the most exciting time to best basketball. There are more prop bets during the NBA playoffs to wager on including series bets (Betting on a team to win their playoff series).
After the 1st three rounds of the NBA playoffs the season ends with a best-of-7 NBA final series. During the finals there are plenty of unique prop bets to wager on at bookmakers. An example is betting on the player you think will win the NBA finals MVP.
During the NBA offseason the draft always has a lot of hype, especially years with top level talent. Bookmakers post odds on various NBA draft prop markets. An example would be betting on what player will be drafted 1st, 2nd or 3rd overall.
There are other prop markets as well such as how many players from a certain college basketball conference will be drafted in the 1st round or 1st/2nd rounds. There are also odds on a player’s draft position (Ex – Player X Draft Position O8.5 / U8.5).
Betting on the NBA live has many benefits and it’s very popular due to the ebb and flow of a basketball game. It isn’t rare for two teams to build leads and give them up throughout an NBA game, which presents lots of live betting opportunities.
It’s possible to set-up big middles betting NBA live as well. Let’s say the Heat are playing the Lakers and you bet on the Lakers at +9.5 points. If the Lakers come out strong in Q1 and are up 30-16 you can set-up a big middle by betting the Heat at plus points.
Some bookmakers have live betting odds throughout the entire game while others only on commercial. With the ups and downs in basketball it’s possible to bet both teams throughout a game and ensure a profit regardless of who ends up winning.
The National Basketball Association has been up and down in terms of popularity throughout the years. Micheal Jordan during his time increased popularity in the NBA to astronomical numbers. The NBA then went through a major down time, where people were turning away from the game at a quick rate. Now, in 2011 – the National Basketball Association has a great, solid fan base – and brings excitement to American cities from the East to the West, North to the South. The National Basketball Association consists of the Eastern Conference and Western Conference.
The Eastern Conference spans from the East Coast to Illinois; where the Chicago Bulls play. The Western Conference consists of all the California teams, and goes all the way to Denver and Oklahoma City. In both the Eastern and Western Conference, there are 15 teams. The Eastern Conference has three divisions; Atlantic, Southeast and Central – while the Western Conference has the Northwest, Pacific and Southeast. 16 teams from the National Basketball Association make the postseason, with 8 from each conference. Just like must tournaments, it is a 16 team tournament, broken up into two 8 team tournaments. The winners of the Eastern Conference will take on the winner of the Western Conference in the NBA Finals.